-- Foxglove --
(instrumental) released 1973 & 2005

Found on:

Night Vision (1973)

Speechless (2005)

Rumours of Glory - box set Disc 1 (2014) [compilation album]


Known comments by Bruce Cockburn about this song, by date:

  • 1986

    "This was the second guitar piece I made up. The title, aside from being the plant digitalis comes from, is a sly acknowledgement of Fox Watson's influence [Editor's Note: See the related comment on Fox Watson in the 'Sunwheel Dance' entry]."
    -- from "All The Diamonds" songbook, edited by Arthur McGregor, OFC Publications 1986. Submitted by Rob Caldwell.

  • Spring 1993

    James Jensen: Was "Cader Idris" a very difficult piece for you to play?

    BC: I don't think so because I got used to doing that arpeggio thing with the fingers and something else with the thumb and they are reasonably independent. "Foxglove", for instance has all those triplets over an alternating bass that to me was an obvious thing to do but some people find it challenging but maybe that's because they're learning it after the fact. "Cader Idris" is basically the same thing except it's in a different time signature so they're not triplets they're eighth notes and the thumb instead of playing an alternating bass is playing a harmonized melody.

    JJ: Was most of your playing at that time [circa album: Bruce Cockburn] in standard tuning?

    BC: Yeah, I used then, and still do, alot of dropped D but it is usually one or the other. There are a couple of other tunings I use but they came later. On "Sunwheel Dance" the title track is in Open D (DADF#AD) where another influence came into my style and on the album &quo;Night Vision" there is a similar instrumental tune called "Foxglove" (see transcription). Both of those were inspired by a guy named Fox Watson who played fiddle tunes on guitar with the alternating bass and used open tunings to very good effect. Eventually I guess he felt that the fiddle tunes were better on a fiddle than the guitar and he started playing fiddle instead. I haven't seen him for a really long time but he was a very fine guitar player and that opened up another door for me and that's why I titled the song "Foxglove" to honor him.
    -- from an Interview by James Jensen at Sunset Sound, Los Angeles, circa Spring 1993.

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    This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.